The last 3 weeks have seen Norden bat first and be dismissed for scores of 50, 82 and 64. Remarkably, they haven’t lost any of these games and another superb bowling performance on Sunday meant that the 64 posted at Burnley’s boohoo.com Turf Moor ground was enough for another 12 points and a move up to 4th in the table with 3 games to play.
Greg Butterworth won a toss that he probably would rather not have done, and he chose to bat on a pitch that looked ok at one end but pretty damp at the other. Openers Tolley and Willis didn’t last long, but Jack Taylor and Zaidi brought a little bit of calm to proceedings before Zaidi sold his young partner down the river and he was run out. Amazingly, the next four Norden batter fell without scoring and it looked like the season-low score of 50 was under threat. Home professional Ockert Erasmus was finding prodigious turn and batting was extremely difficult, but Zaidi decided he had to attack and managed to find the boundary on a few occasions as last man Dean Lord held firm at the other end. Zaidi was last man out, but he contributed 41 of Norden’s 64 and with conditions as they were, this somehow felt like a semi-competitive score.
It was actually much more than that, as Burnley started badly and never recovered. Zaidi and Scott Butterworth combined for 8 wickets with Zaidi turning the ball square and Butterworth bowling off a short run-up to great effect. Butterworth’s 5 victims took him to 47 in all competitions this season and, even though he put a catch down at slip off brother Greg which would have finished the game, he made amends when he dived forward to claim the match-winning catch off Lukas Debnam.
This Norden team has its flaws, but the character and bowling skill on display in the last few weeks has been outstanding. Whisper it quietly, but they are only 11 points off the top spot. Stranger things have happened.
1st XI Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/5592540
The 2nds fell just short in their run chase at Stag Park. Taking on a strong Burnley outfit, not quite fresh from their Junior Cup win the day before, Usama Malik, Oli Yates, Sami Waheed and Jamie Taylor all took 2 wickets to bowl the visitors out for 182 in under 40 overs. Veteran, and persistent thorn in the Norden side, Steve Brunt was the mainstay of the Burnley innings with an unbeaten 58. The all-too familiar issue of extras reared its head again with 30 runs donated to the cause.
3 early wickets didn’t help the reply, but Haris Hussain and Yates recovered the situation and added 72 for the 4th wicket. Unfortunately, both were dismissed in quick succession. Yates was bowled by Matthew Thornton and Hussain slapped the same bowler straight to long-off just after reaching his first half-century for the club. Thornton went on to take 5 wickets, and despite decent efforts from Taylor, Waheed and Mo Munawar, Norden fell short by 17 runs.
2nd XI Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/5593343
2nd XI Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIeRruvsDvk
A second consecutive victory for the 3rds laid to bed any relegation fears. Usama Malik shone with the bat, hitting 66 from just 43 balls with 6 sixes as Norden reached 183 all out. Opponents Todmorden looked well set to chase the runs down, but from 97 for 2 they collapsed and could only add another 26 runs. Mohsin Iqbal started the rot and Joe Golden picked up 3 wickets as the maximum 12 points were secured.
3rd XI Scorecard: https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/5616315